Manuel Abad y Queipo (August 26, c. 1751 – September 15, 1825) was a Spanish Roman Catholic Bishop of Michoacán in the Viceroyalty of New Spain at the time of the Mexican War of Independence. He was "an acute social commentator of late colonial Mexico, ... an exemplification of the enlightened clergyman."
Manuel Abad y Queipo
|Installed||1810 (not confirmed)|
|Predecessor||Marcos de Moriana y Zafrilla|
|Successor||Juan Cayetano Gómez de Portugal y Solís|
|Born||August 26, 1751|
|Died||September 15, 1825 (aged 74)|
Born in Asturias in the 18th century, Manuel Abad y Queipo was born out of wedlock to an Asturian nobleman. He obtained his baccalaureate in law and canon law from the University of Salamanca. Thereafter he went to Guatemala with Bishop Monroy. In Guatemala he was ordained a priest. Beginning in 1784 he resided in Valladolid (now Morelia), where Bishop Antonio San Miguel made him a judge in a canon law court. In that position he gained considerable knowledge about church wealth in terms of capital and credit. In 1805 he obtained a doctorate in canon law from the University of Guadalajara. In 1810 he was nominated as Bishop-elect of Michoacan, but was never confirmed in the post. On the death of Bishop San Miguel, the Council of the Indies named him canon of the cathedral of Valladolid, a position which he held until 1815.
In 1807, he traveled to Spain to seek his habilitation, since his status as a child born out of wedlock prohibited his promotion to the higher levels of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. He returned to New Spain in the position of vicar general. In 1810, the Regency (the Spanish government fighting the French invasion) named him bishop-elect of Michoacán. He took over the diocese before the arrival of the pontifical bull confirming his position. The pope did not approve his nomination, and thus the bull never arrived.
Although born in Spain, Abad y Queipo felt at home in New Spain, saying he was "an American by voluntary adoption." He had strong views about New Spain and its place within the Spanish empire, saying that the crown gave Mexico's indigenous equal rights with the conquering Spaniards and that Spain despite its decline had "made the American possessions flourish until they were the envy of Europeans." He considered the decline of Spain could be attributed to emigration to the overseas territories. He critiqued economic inequality in New Spain, "in America there is no graduation or middle ground: everyone is either rich or poverty stricken, noble or infamous" leading to conflict.
In 1799 he wrote to King Charles IV a report entitled Representación al rey, sobre immunidades del clero (Description to the King, of the Immunities of the Clergy). In this document he outlined the social and political situation in New Spain and explained the symptoms of discontent. He proposed the general abolition of tribute levied on the indigenous; the free distribution of royal lands; agrarian land reform in Mexico that would permit poor people to obtain 20- or 30-year "leases" on uncultivated land belonging to the large landowners, but without paying rent; and the right to establish cotton and woolen mills.
In 1804 he opposed Godoy's Cédula de la Caja de Consolidación. The Act of Consolidation sought to transfer wealth from the church to the crown by calling in all mortgages that were held by the church, which was a direct attack on the elite land holders in New Spain whose wealth was invested in haciendas and whose mortgages held by the church. This order was the equivalent of disentailment of the church because it ordered the transfer of income from the religious estates and foundations to the government, but its attack on the land holding elites' source of wealth did not shore up their loyalty to the crown. Abad y Queipo's memorial to the crown "pointed out that the withdrawal of the vast loans of the Church would paralyze agriculture and business." In 1805 and 1807 he forwarded two other reports to the king.
His writings critiquing society in New Spain influenced Alexander von Humboldt, who spent a year in the viceroyalty 1803–04. Abad y Queipo presented Humboldt with his published writings when the cleric visited Paris in 1806. Humboldt's Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain was one of his first publications from his five-year sojourn to Spanish America and drew heavily on Abad's memorials. Humboldt took Abad y Queipo's argument about the low condition of Mexico's indigenous population as impeding progress in the viceroyalty, which Abad had first mentioned in a 1799 memorial to Bishop Antonio de San Miguel. Their multiple languages, ties to their home communities, collective land tenure which the crown had protected now were their chains preventing individual advancement. Although Abad y Queipo deplored the situation of the Indians, he did not blame them for it, viewing it not due to inherent racial or character flaws but to crown protectionism. Abad y Queipo drew on the writings of reformist Spaniard Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos's Informe de ley agraria. He was also influenced by Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations and drew on the writings of Montesquieu. The replication of Abad y Queipo's arguments in Humboldt's work doubtless gave them a larger audience than they previously garnered.
The Bourbon Reforms had resulted in the virtual exclusion of American-born Spanish men from attaining high office, and increased alienation between peninsular-born Spaniards and the American-born. Abad y Queipo recognized the criollos' resentment and suggested that the rift be softened by sending criollos to Spain for education and that the crown appoint elite criollos to high positions in the government in Spain, in the military and the Catholic Church, as well as allowing those in New Spain to be appointed to high office in Peru and vice versa. The increasing alienation of criollos from the Spanish crown flared into open rebellion in 1810 with the revolt of secular priest Miguel Hidalgo.
Abad y Queipo had been friends with Hidalgo, who had come before the Inquisition. With the outbreak of violence led by Hidalgo in September 1810, Abad y Queipo himself came under suspicion and was denounced to the Inquisition by Fermín Peñalosa y Antón for his being "delinquent in matters of faith." Abad y Queipo strongly and energetically opposed the violent movement for Mexican independence from Spain. This was perhaps due his belief that the economic and social progress he sought was threatened with destruction by movement led by his friend Hidalgo. Abad had also sought the friendship of members of the revolutionary juntas of Valladolid (now Morelia) and San Miguel el Grande (now San Miguel de Allende).
On 24 September 1810, Abad y Queipo published the decree excommunicating insurgents Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama, and Mariano Abasolo. Hidalgo's excommunication was for Hidalgo's having "raised a standard of rebellion and seduced a number of innocent people," but it was for rebellion against the crown's authority not the Church's. The insurgents disputed the legality of the excommunication, based on the lack of papal approval of Abad y Queipo's appointment, which he disputed, and Archbishop Lizana confirmed the order of excommunication.
There were some prominent parish priests among the insurgents, most especially Hidalgo and José María Morelos. Abad y Queipo claimed in September 1812 that the majority of priests were loyal to the crown and few were insurgents, saying "even among Jesus's disciples there was a Judas." Contemporaries, including Lucas Alamán and later scholars have emphasized priests' participation in the insurgency, and evidence shows that they participated in larger numbers than Abad y Queipo estimated, but in fewer numbers than contemporaries thought.
In 1815 Abad y Queipo sent another report to the king (Ferdinand VII now), denouncing the mistakes of Viceroy Félix María Calleja and the lack of prudence of Lardizábal, minister of the Indies. Ferdinand recalled Abad y Queipo to Spain since "he was suspected of dangerous liberal views." He was eventually confirmed as bishop of Michoacan, but could not return to Mexico. Following Mexican independence in 1821, Abad y Queipo resigned that post and became bishop of Tortosa.
He obtained an interview with Ferdinand VII, who not only pardoned him, but named him Minister of Grace and Justice in the royal government. This occurred on 24 June 1816, but on 27 June the Inquisition brought its case again, accusing Abad y Queipo of being a friend of the insurgents, living an irreligious life, and holding revolutionary ideas. He was imprisoned two months in the jail of the Inquisition.
The Spanish revolution of 1820 in which the liberal Spanish Constitution of 1812 was restored and the crown becoming a constitutional monarchy again created a provisional junta and Abad y Queipo became a member of the provisional junta. He was charged with overseeing the conduct of King Ferdinand. Later he was a deputy to the Cortes for the province of Asturias. Even later he was named bishop of Tortosa, but once again the papal bull confirming his position did not arrive.
In 1824 came the absolutist reaction, after Ferdinand was again restored to the throne. Abad y Queipo was now old and deaf, but he was imprisoned again, this time in the monastery of Sisla, in Toledo. He died a prisoner in 1825.
Many of his writings were published in Semanario Político y Literario (Political and Literary Seminar) and in Observador de la República Mexicana (Observer of the Mexican Republic), the newspaper that José María Luis Mora edited. The Colección de escritos más importantes (Collection of the Most Important Writings) was published in Mexico City in 1813. His "Testamento político" ("Political Testament") was published in the Historia of Lucas Alamán. An important collection of his writings is Colección de los escritos mas importantes que en diferentes épocas dirigió al gobierno D. Manual Abad Queipo, obispo electo de Michoacán. Historian D.A. Brading notes that Abad y Queipo's writing are notable for "the complete absence of any material dealing with religion."
Humboldt read the writings of Abad y Queipo, and the bishop-elect's observations made their way into Humboldt's Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain. Abad y Queipo's writings had a significant impact on Mexican liberalism in the post-independence period, with secular priest and liberal ideologue Mora reprinting important works, "thereby ensuring their influence over the development of Mexican radicalism...Abad y Queipo is best regarded as the intellectual progenitor of Mexican Liberalism."
Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (; German: [ˈhʊmbɔlt] (listen); 14 September 1769 – 6 May 1859) was a Prussian polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer, and influential proponent of Romantic philosophy and science. He was the younger brother of the Prussian minister, philosopher, and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835). Humboldt's quantitative work on botanical geography laid the foundation for the field of biogeography. Humboldt's advocacy of long-term systematic geophysical measurement laid the foundation for modern geomagnetic and meteorological monitoring.Between 1799 and 1804, Humboldt travelled extensively in the Americas, exploring and describing them for the first time from a modern scientific point of view. His description of the journey was written up and published in an enormous set of volumes over 21 years. Humboldt was one of the first people to propose that the lands bordering the Atlantic Ocean were once joined (South America and Africa in particular). Humboldt resurrected the use of the word cosmos from the ancient Greek and assigned it to his multivolume treatise, Kosmos, in which he sought to unify diverse branches of scientific knowledge and culture. This important work also motivated a holistic perception of the universe as one interacting entity. He was the first person to describe the phenomenon and cause of human-induced climate change, in 1800 and again in 1831, based on observations generated during his travels.August 26
August 26 is the 238th day of the year (239th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 127 days remain until the end of the year.Chihuahua (state)
Chihuahua (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃiˈwawa] (listen)), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Chihuahua (Spanish: Estado Libre y Soberano de Chihuahua), is one of the 31 states of Mexico. It is located in Northwestern Mexico and is bordered by the states of Sonora to the west, Sinaloa to the southwest, Durango to the south, and Coahuila to the east. To the north and northeast, it has a long border with the U.S. adjacent to the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas. Its capital city is Chihuahua City.
Although Chihuahua is primarily identified with the Chihuahuan Desert for namesake, it has more forests than any other state in Mexico, with the exception of Durango. Due to its variant climate, the state has a large variety of fauna and flora. The state is mostly characterized by rugged mountainous terrain and wide river valleys. The Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, part of the continental spine that also includes the Rocky Mountains, dominates the state's terrain and is home to the state's greatest attraction, Las Barrancas del Cobre, or Copper Canyon, a canyon system larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon. On the slope of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains (around the regions of Casas Grandes, Cuauhtémoc and Parral), there are vast prairies of short yellow grass, the source of the bulk of the state's agricultural production. Most of the inhabitants live along the Rio Grande Valley and the Conchos River Valley. The etymology of the name Chihuahua has long been disputed by historians and linguists. The most accepted theory explains that the name was derived from the Nahuatl language meaning "The place where the water of the rivers meet" (i.e., "confluence", cf. Koblenz).
Chihuahua is the largest state in Mexico by area, with an area of 247,455 square kilometres (95,543 sq mi), it is slightly larger than the United Kingdom and slightly smaller than Wyoming, tenth US state in area. The state is consequently known under the nickname El Estado Grande ("The Great State" or "The Big State"). Chihuahua has a diversified state economy. The three most important economic centers in the state are: Ciudad Juárez, an international manufacturing center; Chihuahua, the state capital; and Cuauhtémoc, the state's main agriculture hub and an international recognized center for apple production. Today Chihuahua serves as an important commercial route prospering from billions of dollars from international trade as a result of NAFTA. On the other hand the state suffers the fallout of illicit trade and activities especially at the border.Economic history of Mexico
Mexico's economic history has been characterized since the colonial era by resource extraction, agriculture, and a relatively underdeveloped industrial sector. Economic elites in the colonial period were predominantly Spanish born, active as transatlantic merchants and silver mine owners and diversifying their investments with the landed estates. The largest sector of the population was indigenous subsistence farmers, who lived mainly in the center and south.
New Spain was envisioned by the Spanish crown as a supplier of wealth to Iberia, which huge silver mines accomplished. A colonial economy to supply foodstuffs and products from ranching as well as a domestic textile industry meant that the economy supplied much of its own needs. Crown economic policy rattled American-born elites’ loyalty to Spain when in 1804 it instituted a policy to make mortgage holders pay immediately the principal on their loans, threatening the economic position of cash-strapped land owners. Independence in Mexico in 1821 was economically difficult for the country, with the loss of its supply of mercury from Spain in silver mines.Most of the patterns of wealth in the colonial era continued into the first half of the nineteenth century, with agriculture being the main economic activity with the labor of indigenous and mixed-race peasants. The mid-nineteenth-century Liberal Reforma (ca. 1850–1861; 1867–76) attempted to decrease the economic power of the Roman Catholic Church and to modernize and industrialize the Mexican economy. Following civil war and a foreign intervention, the late nineteenth century found political stability and economic prosperity during the presidential regime of General Porfirio Díaz (1876–1911). Mexico was opened to foreign investment and, to a lesser extent, foreign workers. Foreign capital built a railway network, one of the keys for transforming the Mexican economy, by linking regions of Mexico and major cities and ports. As the construction of the railway bridge over a deep canyon at Metlac demonstrates, Mexico's topography was a barrier to economic development. The mining industry revived in the north of Mexico and the petroleum industry developed in the north Gulf Coast states with foreign capital.
Regional civil wars broke out in 1910 and lasted until 1920, known generally as the Mexican Revolution. Following the military phase of the Revolution, Mexican regimes attempted to "transform a largely rural and backward country … into a middle-sized industrial power." The Mexican Constitution of 1917 gave the Mexican government the power to expropriate property, which allowed for the distribution of land to peasants, but also the Mexican oil expropriation in 1938. Mexico benefited economically from its participation in World War II and the post-war years experienced what has been called the Mexican Miracle (ca. 1946–1970). This growth was fueled by import substitution industrialization. The Mexican economy experienced the limits of ISI and economic nationalism and Mexico sought a new model for economic growth. Huge oil reserves were discovered in the Gulf of Mexico in the late 1970s and Mexico borrowed heavily from foreign banks with loans denominated in U.S. dollars. When the price of oil dropped in the 1980s, Mexico experienced a severe financial crisis.
Under President Carlos Salinas de Gortari Mexico campaigned to join the North American Free Trade Agreement with the expanded treaty going into effect in Mexico, the U.S., and Canada on January 1, 1994. Mexico implemented neoliberal economic policies and changed significant articles of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 to ensure private property rights against future nationalization. In the twenty-first century, Mexico has strengthened its trade ties with China, but Chinese investment projects in Mexico have hit roadblocks in 2014–15. Mexico's continued dependence on oil revenues has had a deleterious impact when oil prices drop, as is happening 2014–15.Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos
Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos (born Gaspar Melchor de Jove y Llanos, 5 January 1744 – 27 November 1811) was a Spanish neoclassical statesman, author, philosopher and a major figure of the Age of Enlightenment in Spain.Grandas de Salime
Grandas de Salime is a municipality in the Autonomous Community of the Principality of Asturias, Spain. It is famous for its hydroelectric dam across the Navia River, forming the Embalse de Salime (reservoir of Salime). It is also famous for being a stop along the Camino Primitivo path of the Camino de Santiago, where it is the last stretch of Asturian land before the entrance into Galicia through the Acebo Pass.
The municipality is situated in the interior of the eastern region of Asturias, bordered on the south by the Galician province of Lugo, on the north by the Asturian municipalities of Santa Eulalia de Oscos, San Martín de Oscos, Pesoz and Allande. The village has an ethnographic museum which occupies the former governing house of Grandas. Geologically, the region is dominated by deposits of shale and quartzite.
The hydroelectric dam turned 50 years old in 2004. Its inside is adorned with a large mural by the architect of the dam, Joaquin Vaquero Palacios.Historiography of Colonial Spanish America
The historiography of Spanish America has a long history. It dates back to the early sixteenth century with multiple competing accounts of the conquest, Spaniards’ eighteenth-century attempts to discover how to reverse the decline of its empire, and Latin American-born Spaniards' (creoles') search for an identity other than Spanish, and the creation of creole patriotism. Following independence in some parts of Spanish America, some politically-engaged citizens of the new sovereign nations sought to shape national identity. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, non-Spanish American historians began writing chronicles important events, such as the conquests of Mexico and Peru, dispassionate histories of the Spanish imperial project after its almost complete demise in the hemisphere, and histories of the southwest borderlands, areas of the United States that had previously been part of the Spanish Empire, led by Herbert Eugene Bolton. At the turn of the twentieth century, scholarly research on Spanish America saw the creation of college courses dealing with the region, the systematic training of professional historians in the field, and the founding of the first specialized journal, Hispanic American Historical Review. For most of the twentieth century, historians of colonial Spanish America read and were familiar with a large canon of work. With the expansion of the field in the late twentieth century, there has been the establishment of new subfields, the founding of new journals, and the proliferation of monographs, anthologies, and articles for increasingly specialized practitioners and readerships. The Conference on Latin American History, the organization of Latin American historians affiliated with the American Historical Association, awards a number of prizes for publications, with works on early Latin American history well represented.José María Morelos
José María Teclo Morelos Pérez y Pavón (Spanish: [xoˈse maˈɾi.a ˈteklo moˈɾelos ˈpeɾeθ i paˈβon] (listen)) (September 30, 1765, City of Valladolid, now Morelia, Michoacán – December 22, 1815, San Cristóbal Ecatepec, State of México) was a Mexican Roman Catholic priest and revolutionary rebel leader who led the Mexican War of Independence movement, assuming its leadership after the execution of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in 1811. Morelos and Ignacio López Rayón are credited with organizing the war of independence. Under Morelos the Congress of Anáhuac was installed on September 13, 1813 and in November 6 of the same year congress declared the country's independence. On October 22, 1814 a constitution, Decreto Constitucional para la Libertad de la América Mexicana, was drafted by the Congress which declared that Mexico would be a Republic.
After a series of defeats he was captured by the Spanish royalist military, tried by the Inquisition, defrocked as a cleric, and executed by civil authorities for treason in 1815. Morelos is a national hero in Mexico and is considered a very successful military leader despite the fact that he never took a military career and was instead a priest.José de Iturrigaray
José Joaquín Vicente de Iturrigaray y Aróstegui, KOS (27 June 1742, Cádiz, Spain – 22 August 1815, Madrid) was a Spanish military officer and viceroy of New Spain, from January 4, 1803 to September 16, 1808, during Napoleon's invasion of Spain and the establishment of a Bonapartist regime in Spain.Juan Cayetano Gómez de Portugal y Solís
Juan Cayetano José María Gómez de Portugal y Solís (7 July 1783 - 4 April 1850 ) was a university professor and the Bishop of Michoacán.
He played an active role in the politics of Mexico.La antorcha encendida
La antorcha encendida (English: The Flaming Torch) is a Mexican telenovela produced by Ernesto Alonso and Carlos Sotomayor for Televisa in 1996.It was the last historical telenovela produced by Televisa. The plot tells the Independence of Mexico, with an emphasis on historical accuracy. It was written by Fausto Zeron Medina in collaboration with Liliana Abud.
On Monday, May 6, 1996, Canal de las Estrellas started broadcasting La antorcha encendida weekdays at 9:00pm, replacing María la del Barrio. The last episode was broadcast on Friday, November 15, 1996 with Te sigo amando replacing it the following day.
Leticia Calderón and Humberto Zurita starred as protagonists, while Juan Ferrara, Julieta Rosen, Alejandra Ávalos and Ari Telch starred as antagonists. Luis Gatica, Christian Bach, Alejandro Ruiz, Julio Beckles, Ernesto Laguardia, Mario Iván Martínez, Sergio Reynoso and the leading actors Patricia Reyes Spíndola, María Rivas, Angélica María, Ofelia Guilmáin, Carmen Salinas, María Rojo, Juan Peláez, Germán Robles, Luis Gimeno, Enrique Rocha, Aarón Hernán, Sergio Jiménez and Lorenzo de Rodas starred as stellar performances.Land reform in Mexico
Before the 1910 Mexican Revolution that overthrew Porfirio Díaz, most of the land was owned by a single elite ruling class. Legally there was no slavery or serfdom; however, those with heavy debts, native wage workers, or peasants, were essentially debt-slaves to the landowners. A small percentage of rich landowners owned most of the country's farm land. With so many people brutally suppressed, revolts and revolution were common in Mexico. To relieve the Mexican peasant's plight and stabilize the country, various leaders tried different types of agrarian land reform.
During the first five years of agrarian reform, very few hectares were evenly distributed. Land reform attempts by past leaders and governments proved futile, as the revolution from 1910-1920 had been a battle of dependent labor, capitalism, and industrial ownership. Fixing the agrarian problem was a question of education, methods, and creating new social relationships through co-operative effort and government assistance. Initially the agrarian reform led to the development of many Ejidos for communal land use, while parceled ejidos emerged in the later years.Lillian Estelle Fisher
Lillian Estelle Fisher (born 1 May 1891, Selinsgrove, PA, died 4 May 1988, Moraga CA) was one of the first women to earn a doctorate in Latin American history in the U.S. She published important works on Spanish colonial administration; a biography of Manuel Abad y Queipo, reform bishop-elect of Michoacan; and a monograph on the Tupac Amaru rebellion in Peru. As distinguished colonial Latin American historian John J. TePaske put it in 1968, "At least three generations of graduate students have studied the works of Lillian Estelle Fisher." Fisher is included as an example of sexual/gender discrimination in the historical profession.Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Don Miguel Gregorio Antonio Francisco Ignacio Hidalgo-Costilla y Gallaga Mandarte Villaseñor; 8 May 1753 – 30 July 1811), more commonly known as Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla or simply Miguel Hidalgo (Spanish pronunciation: [miˈɣel iˈðalɣo], was a Mexican Roman Catholic priest and a leader of the Mexican War of Independence.
He was a professor at the Colegio de San Nicolás Obispo in Valladolid and was ousted in 1792. He served in a church in Colima and then in Dolores, Dias. After his arrival, he was shocked by the rich soil he had found. He tried to help the poor by showing them how to grow olives and grapes, but in Mexico, growing these crops was discouraged or prohibited by the authorities due to Spanish imports of the items. In 1810 he gave the famous speech, "The Cry of Dolores", calling upon the people to protect the interest of their King Fernando VII (held captive by Napoleon) by revolting against the European-born Spaniards who had overthrown the Spanish Viceroy.He marched across Mexico and gathered an army of nearly 90,000 poor farmers and Mexican civilians who attacked and killed both Spanish Peninsulares and Criollo elites, even though Hidalgo's troops lacked training and were poorly armed. These troops ran up onto an army of 6,000 well-trained and armed Spanish troops; most of Hidalgo's troops fled or were killed at the Battle of Calderón Bridge.Queipo
Queipo may refer to:
Francisco de Borja Queipo de Llano, 8th Count of Toreno (1840–1890), Spanish noble and politician
Gonzalo Queipo de Llano (1875–1951), Spanish Army Officer who fought for the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War
José María Queipo de Llano Ruiz de Saravia, 7th Count of Toreno (1786–1843), 19th-century Spanish politician and historian
Manuel Abad y Queipo (1751–1825), Spanish Roman Catholic bishop of ValladolidRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Morelia
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Morelia (Latin: Archidioecesis Moreliensis) (erected 11 August 1536 as the Diocese of Michoacán) is a Metropolitan Archdiocese in western central Mexico.The cathedral archiepiscopal see is at the Cathedral of the Transfiguration, a minor World Heritage Site, in the city of Morelia, capital of Michoacán state. It also has a Minor Basilica: Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Salud, in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán de Ocampo.Spanish American Enlightenment
The ideas of the Spanish Enlightenment, which emphasized reason, science, practicality, clarity rather than obscurantism, and secularism, were transmitted from France to the New World in the eighteenth century, following the establishment of the Bourbon monarchy in Spain. In Spanish America, the ideas of the Enlightenment affected educated elites in major urban centers, especially Mexico City, Lima, and Guatemala, where there were universities founded in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In these centers of learning, American-born Spanish intellectuals were already participants in intellectual and scientific discourse, with Spanish American universities increasingly anti-scholastic and opposed to “untested authority” even before the Spanish Bourbons came to power. The best studied is the University of San Carlos Guatemala, founded in 1676.In Spanish America just as in Spain, the Enlightenment had some aspects of anticlericalism, but many priests were in favor of science and scientific thinking and were practitioners themselves. Some clergy were proponents of the Enlightenment as well as independence. Enlightenment texts circulating in Spanish America have been linked to the intellectual underpinnings of Spanish American independence.
Works by Enlightenment philosophers were owned and read in Spanish America, despite restrictions on the book trade and their inclusion on the Inquisition’s list of forbidden books . The Jesuits were instrumental introducing new trends in philosophy to Spanish America, and following their expulsion in 1767, the Franciscans continued exploring this line of thought. Spanish American secular clergy owned such works, including Mexican priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, whose free-thinking lost him his position as rector of the seminary of San Nicolás and he was sent to the small parish of Dolores.
Priests pursued science, even in the seventeenth-century “baroque” era, most prominently Mexican creole intellectual Don Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, as well as the remarkable Mexican nun, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. In the eighteenth century, there were several Spanish-born as well as American-born priests practicing science. Prominent among them was Spanish-born José Celestino Mutis in New Granada, who headed the royal botanical expedition to New Granada. He was educated in mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. Mutis trained Francisco José de Caldas. In Peru, Hipólito Unanue, a secular cleric trained in medicine, contributed to a Peruvian publication, Mercurio Peruano. Similar to him was Mexican secular cleric José Antonio de Alzate y Ramírez, who founded important newspapers that disseminated knowledge about scientific findings, including his own. Alexander von Humboldt met and consulted with Mutis, Caldas, and read the works of Alzate (who died just before Humboldt arrived in New Spain) during his scientific expedition to Spanish America at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Humboldt was impressed by the intellectual level of science in Spanish America.Two strains of philosophical thought were evident in Spanish America, one was enlightened despotism and the other variations on constitutionalism. Divisions among clerics in Spanish America were between those supporting regalism, that is, the supremacy of the crown over the Catholic Church, and those adhering to ultramontanism, supporting the power of the papacy over monarchs. The Spanish crown moved to consolidate its supremacy over the Catholic Church by suppressing the Society of Jesus in Spain and in its overseas empire in 1767. The Jesuits were “soldiers of the Pope”, taking a vow to serve the pontiff. They were successful in their missions to indigenous peoples on the frontiers of the Spanish empire, such as northern Mexico and most famously in Paraguay. Jesuit educational institutions had as pupils the sons of American born Spaniards, and were places where ideas of the Enlightenment were disseminated. The Jesuits held a considerable number of profitable landed estates, or haciendas, which were run efficiently by Jesuits trained in management. Their loyalty to the pope and their defiance of the crown authority as well as their clear success in important realms where the diocesan clergy or other religious orders might have excelled meant that their expulsion in 1767 was not opposed by the episcopal hierarchy or religious orders.
The exile of the Jesuits to Europe was a blow to elite American-born Spanish families, whose sons were educated by the Jesuits or themselves Jesuits and has been seen as contributing to creole alienation from the Bourbon monarchy. An important exiled Jesuit was Francisco Javier Clavijero, who wrote a major history of Mexico, seeing its origins in the achievements of indigenous civilizations and creating an idea of Mexico separate from peninsular Spain.The Spanish crown also moved against the clergy as a whole by attempted to limit the corporate privileges of the Catholic Church, the fuero eclesiástico, which gave clerics the right to be judged for all offenses in canonical rather than crown courts. The fuero had been an important factor in strengthening the prestige and power of the lower secular clergy. Parish priests were often the only person of European ethnicity in indigenous parishes, who exercised both political and sacred power.In late colonial Mexico, an important bishop-elect Manuel Abad y Queipo, considered liberal, and sought social, economic, and political reforms, but he firmly opposed Father Hidalgo’s 1810 uprising for independence. Abad y Queipo gave Humboldt some of his writings on conditions in New Spain and the need for reform to Humboldt, and his ideas found their way into Humboldt’s famous ‘’Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain’’.Another development in Spanish America was the formation of economic societies and “friends of the country,” by elite men to improve the local economy through science. They also functioned as discussion groups that considered political issues, particularly as crown policies increasingly favored the peninsula.The crown founded a number of institutions aimed at scientific and economic progress, as well as cultural advancement. In Mexico, the crown established of the College of Mines in 1792, directed by Spanish mineralogist Fausto Elhuyar. It was designed to train experts for the empire’s most lucrative industry, silver mining.
Art and architecture were cultural expressions that felt the impact of Enlightenment ideas. The Academy of San Carlos was founded in 1781 as the School for Engraving, and two years later renamed the(Real Academia de la Tres Nobles Artes de San Carlos. Miguel Cabrera was one of its most important members. The Palacio de Minería in Mexico City and the hospicio in Guadalajara, as well as the cathedral in Buenos Aires were designed in the neoclassical style, favoring clean lines and minimal decoration, in contrast to the more ornate baroque architecture. "Readily understandable and providing solace in its promise of heavenly glory, the Baroque is an art for the people. It was this very popularity that led to the anti-Baroque movement of the highbrow Neoclassical academies of the eighteenth century." The growth of scientific ideas and the development of different kinds of taxonomy, such as Carl Linnaeus’s, may well have been the impetus behind the emergence of secular paintings of racial mixture and racial hierarchy in late eighteenth-century Mexico, called casta paintings.The crown attempted to rein in popular aspects of “baroque” Catholicism, eliminating burials in the interior of churches and churchyards as a public health measure. It successfully suppressed Carnival in Mexico and sought to downsize popular pious practices such as religious processions. Secular entertainments such as bullfighting were no longer supported by the crown, and theatrical productions had didactic and secular themes rather than religious.